Library leaders eye circulation system

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Director calls antiques show a success

By Trista Lutgring

TELL CITY - Tell City-Perry County Public Library board members revisited discussion of a new circulation system for the library May 5 at their regular meeting. Library Director Larry Oathout reminded board members present that they had set a deadline of February 2011 to decide on a system. Board members were given a sheet of suggested features library staff members said they would like to see in the new system.  "Everyone would like to see that the bookmobile is on the same system as the library so it's all real time," he explained, referring to the top suggestion of the staff. Other suggestions included a system that is user-friendly, shows partial payment of patrons' fines and shows the entire list of the DVD and audio collection. The library is still considering the state's system, Evergreen, as a possible solution and staff members discussed the possibility of extending the loan time of books to three weeks instead of two, Oathout said. Some staff members stated a longer check-out period for books might lessen the sting of a 25-cent-a-day overdue fine that comes with the Evergreen system.  Board President Mickey Fischer voiced concern that a three-week checkout time might interfere with the waiting list on some books. "If you have a list of people that want that book, it might be out in paperback before (a patron) is able to get it," she said. Oathout admitted the only drawback of a three-week loan would be the possibility of the library having to order more copies of a book with a waiting list. He told board members that a positive aspect of Evergreen he had been hearing about was interlibrary sharing. Libraries throughout the state that use the Evergreen system allow their patrons to request books from other Evergreen libraries. Oathout also stated that it wasn't just new titles that were floating between libraries; older titles were being requested as well. "Instead of the new stuff flying all over the state, the old stuff that nobody could find before is now leaving these libraries and going elsewhere," he said. Staff members will continue to look into systems, he added, and report back to the board. In other business, Oathout stated in his report to board members an "Antiques at Your Library" event held April 10 was a success. Eight antique experts were present at the event to appraise items for those attending and several local experts had exhibits showing their antiques. Oathout said he believed approximately 75 people visited the exhibits and experts throughout the day.  "I think the biggest (item appraised) was somebody brought in a $100 bill and it ended up being worth $2,000," he said. Due to the excitement of the event, Oathout said he believed the library would host another antiques show next year. The Friends of the Library also held a silent auction in April that raised more than $200 for the library. Oathout also reported that the summer bookmobile schedule will begin June 1 and summer story hours for children will begin June 15.

The library board's next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. June 2.